How to Start a Customer Loyalty Program

You might belong to a few customer loyalty programs. They're difficult to resist when you reach the POS counter at a store, and the cashier asks if you'd like to sign up for special promotions and discounts.

Of course, you would!

And that's why the model works. If you haven't tried this strategy for your business, here's how you get started.

1. Create a List of Benefits

Why should people sign up for your loyalty program?

A loyalty or rewards program only works if you provide tangible benefits for the consumer.

For instance, a pizza joint might offer a free pie for every ten purchases in the store. A fashion retailer could offer $10 off a purchase of $50 or more after spending a certain amount of money at the boutique.

You decide what rewards and benefits you offer, but make them too attractive to ignore.

A few examples could include:

  • Offer discounts (percentage or dollar figure) for reaching certain milestones.
  • Give members early access to discounts or products.
  • Allow members to accrue points toward prizes or coupons.
  • Assign tiers to the loyalty program and increase benefits related to the tiers (such as purchase amount milestones).
  • Create an app that only members can download.

Feel free to get creative!

Decide How to Track Memberships

Your CRM system might offer the perfect way to track loyalty program customers.

Some companies use membership cards —  these work best for brick-and-mortar stores — while others use membership numbers, email addresses, or other methods of keeping track. Whatever medium you choose, make sure it's both secure and accurate.

Consider porting the double-authentication model over from many online stores and membership sites. For instance, you might give your customers a physical membership card, which can actually increase loyalty through the tactile experience, and incorporate the customer's phone number or email address onto the card. That way, your customer can still access benefits if he or she leaves the card at home.

Deliver on Your Promises

If you don't keep the promises you make to your customers, you risk the opposite of loyalty. Your customers will realize that you don't honor your loyalty program, and they'll skip next door to your competitor.

Inform management about the details of the loyalty program, then write out a list of policies and guarantees related to the program. If possible, ask your attorney to review the document. He or she might point out vulnerabilities or missing information that could get you in trouble.

When you launch your loyalty program, make the policies available, either in a written document or brochure or as part of your website. Ask your customers to read the policies thoroughly, so they understand what benefits they get from the program.

Offer Multiple Signup Methods

Allow customers to sign up for your loyalty program via multiple mediums. In-store and online signups represent the most common options, but why not allow potential customers to sign up via SMS messaging? It's an easy way to target impulse memberships among your audience.

A loyalty program can work wonders for your brand, especially when combined with other marketing methods. If you'd like to try SMS marketing for your business, EZ Texting offers the most convenient, intuitive option available on the market today. Sign up for free and find out for yourself.